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A growing family places extra demands on space and while your two or three bed property may no longer satisfy your needs, selling and trading up isn’t the only option.

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There are many ways to make your home more energy-efficient and reduce your heating bill. Insulated homes are comfortable homes. In an adequately insulated home, the temperature is constant throughout each room and walls, ceilings and flooring remain warm in the winter and cooler in the summer months.

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If you employ a tradesman to carry out work on your property, then you should check for defects and document them in a list around two weeks before the work is due to be completed.

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Paying attention to your gas system is extremely important to guarantee the safety of you and your family.

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To get the most out of your tradesman experience, it’s important that both yourself and the tradesman are happy. For this to happen you’ll need to be 100% comfortable with who you hire.

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Now that winter is upon us, many of us are spending more time indoors. Top of everybody’s checklist is a home that can deal with the cold days and nights ahead. Your first priority should be your boiler.

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For anyone looking for the next big thing in the home fashion sphere, the exhibitors at the Parisian Maison & Objet, can give you a glimpse of what’s hot or not right now. The fair is the first and biggest design trade show of the year, which means that this is the place to spot new patterns, colours and styles. For the spring collection, however, there weren’t any shocking revelations. Pantone’s 2013 Emerald Green was nowhere to be seen, instead, pastels dominated.

Property

England isn’t the most forgiving country when it comes to the weather. While many of us invest in garden furniture for those summer months, weather-proofing it is essential all year long.

Scottish referendum: The Yes vote was the love that dared speak its name, but it was not to be

Despite the result, this is the end of the status quo

Boyd Tonkin on the fall-out from the Scottish referendum
Manolo Blahnik: The high priest of heels talks flats, Englishness, and why he loves Mary Beard

Manolo Blahnik: Flats, Englishness, and Mary Beard

The shoe designer who has been dubbed 'the patron saint of the stiletto'
The Beatles biographer reveals exclusive original manuscripts of some of the best pop songs ever written

Scrambled eggs and LSD

Behind The Beatles' lyrics - thanks to Hunter Davis's original manuscript copies
'Normcore' fashion: Blending in is the new standing out in latest catwalk non-trend

'Normcore': Blending in is the new standing out

Just when fashion was in grave danger of running out of trends, it only went and invented the non-trend. Rebecca Gonsalves investigates
Dance’s new leading ladies fight back: How female vocalists are now writing their own hits

New leading ladies of dance fight back

How female vocalists are now writing their own hits
Mystery of the Ground Zero wedding photo

A shot in the dark

Mystery of the wedding photo from Ground Zero
His life, the universe and everything

His life, the universe and everything

New biography sheds light on comic genius of Douglas Adams
Save us from small screen superheroes

Save us from small screen superheroes

Shows like Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D are little more than marketing tools
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From pools to football pitches, rooftop living is looking up
These are the 12 best hotel spas in the UK

12 best hotel spas in the UK

Some hotels go all out on facilities; others stand out for the sheer quality of treatments
These Iranian-controlled Shia militias used to specialise in killing American soldiers. Now they are fighting Isis, backed up by US airstrikes

Widespread fear of Isis is producing strange bedfellows

Iranian-controlled Shia militias that used to kill American soldiers are now fighting Isis, helped by US airstrikes
Topshop goes part Athena poster, part last spring Prada

Topshop goes part Athena poster, part last spring Prada

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How to make a Lego masterpiece

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Ian Paisley’s decision to make peace with his IRA enemies

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